The Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (TBCAC) is a safe haven for children and families suffering from the trauma of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and witness to violence. We are a community based, child-focused and child-friendly facility in which representatives from many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals, work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable.
Children’s Advocacy Centers play a significant role in the response to child sexual abuse and other child maltreatment in the United States. First developed in the 1980s, CACs were designed to reduce the stress on child abuse victims and families created by traditional child abuse investigation and prosecution procedures and to improve the effectiveness of the response.
According to several experts, child victims were subjected to multiple, redundant interviews about their abuse by different agencies, and were questioned by professionals who had no knowledge of children’s developmental limitations or experience working with children. Child interviews would take place in settings like ￼￼police stations that would further stress already frightened children. Moreover, the response was hampered because the multiple agencies involved did not coordinate their investigations, and children’s need for services could be neglected.
CACs aimed to correct these problems by coordinating multidisciplinary investigation teams in a centralized, child-friendly setting; employing forensic interviewers specially trained to work with children; and assisting children and families in obtaining medical, therapeutic, and advocacy services. The CAC movement is based on the belief that the response system should focus on the needs of the child and family and is most effective when the skills of multiple agencies are coordinated.
The TBCAC was founded in 2010 by the Tri-County Coalition for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The TBCAC is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance and an active member of the Michigan Chapter of the NCA.
Over 900 children have walked through our doors since 2010, to receive life-changing services that are always free-of-charge.
Learn more about the TBCAC as a Regional Response Center…